Muslim ‘Grooming Gangs’ in the UK: Frequently Asked Questions. By Harriet Taylor. Formerly: Some scandals are so massive that they’re simply hard to believe. As many as one million white English children may have been the victims of Muslim rape gangs, better known as grooming gangs, in towns up and down Great Britain.
Q: Aren’t the girls involved in this just ‘child prostitutes’?
A: … [T]he girls involved have been brutalised and coerced into having sex with the men. The truth is that no twelve year old girl ‘chooses’ of her own free will to have sex with dozens or hundreds of strangers flat on her back on a grubby mattress in a derelict house somewhere.
Q: Don’t all the girls come from troubled families? Isn’t it really the parents’ fault for allowing this to happen?
… But many have also come from loving and stable homes. These have included families of professionals and other highly educated and resourceful parents, who have found themselves unable to combat the powers of the gangs. Girls from all walks of life have been victims of the gangs. …
Q: How on earth would any sensible girl get involved in all of this? It just doesn’t sound believable.
There are many different models of grooming children for sex. The grooming gangs in the UK use a variety of techniques. In some cases, they follow the ‘boyfriend model’ of grooming. An older male plys the girl with compliments, presents, and attention, and claims to be her ‘boyfriend’. Remember when you were a teenager? Having an older boyfriend with a car and money is a good way to get social status and self-esteem. Once the girl believes herself to be in love, then the abuse starts, sometimes gradually, sometimes brutally. Having been plied with expensive gifts, the girl might be told suddenly and threateningly, ‘you owe me for all that vodka, how you going to pay?’ The girl will be made to believe that ‘if she really loves him’, she’ll have sex with his mates – ‘everyone does this’, and sometimes ‘this is normal in our culture’.
Remember, some of these girls are only 11 or 12 or 13 – what do they know about life? Once she’s been persuaded to do that, she might get told she’s a ‘little slut now’. Often, there is a yo-yoing between expressions of affection and brutal attacks. Psychologically, this is a very effective way to get power over someone, especially a young teenager who does not yet have the experience and the resilience to fight back. The girl ends up frightened and confused about who really loves and cares for her. The groomers may try to convince her that her family is really the enemy, and they are the only ones who ‘really’ care for her. Even years later, the girls may still believe that the man who viciously and sadistically groomed her was really just her ‘boyfriend’.
In other cases, girls are simply plied with drugs and alcohol and raped. It is extremely easy to get a young girl drunk, and easy to spike drinks. Some girls who thought they were being given ‘cigarettes’ were being hooked on crack cocaine. Others were forcibly injected with heroin after being made drunk. Addicted, they are now in the groomer’s power. They are also very likely to feel extremely bad about what they have done. You might think that means they’ll stop doing it. What it more likely means is that their self-esteem is so low they are even easier to control and brutalise. They have started to believe that they actually are worthless.
Remember, the teenage years are years when youngsters experiment with limits. It’s normal for many kids to experiment with drink etc. Usually it just means a few hangovers. The gangs brutally exploit this normal adolescent phase of experimentation with social rules and the adult world to their own ends.
Q: But how come the parents didn’t know what was going on? How come the girls were allowed to be unsupervised?
In many cases, the abuse occurred just after school. In the UK, it’s completely normal for secondary school pupils to travel home without adult supervision. In some cases, the abusers were careful enough to finish with the girl in time for her to get home before her parents returned from work. Why would a parent think, ‘Oh, I wonder if my child has been having sex with dozens of men between the hours of 3.30 and 5.30 when she said she was at netball practice?’ …
Q: But why would a girl keep on going back to the gangs, once she’s been raped and sold? Doesn’t this show that she really wants to be involved in all of this?
Simple. If you were told by a group of men you know to be capable of great brutality that if you don’t meet them when they text, they will pour petrol in your letter box and burn your house to the ground, what would you do?
If you were told by this group of men that if you ever tell anyone, or go to the police, a gang of them will turn up and rape your mother and little sisters in front of your brothers, what would you do?…
If you were 14 years old, and found yourself addicted to hard drugs because you’d been given them without your consent or knowledge, and were desperate for your next fix, what would you do? …